This new radar can see through walls!

American researchers recently described their latest innovation. This is a new radar system based on a microwave scanner. The target? Create images of objects through a wall or other obstacle and track their movements at high speed.

When seeing through walls becomes possible

And new high quality radar, this is what researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (USA) describe in their publication in the journal Nature Communications on June 25, 2021. This is a microwave scanner-based device, capable of real-time images of objects produce behind a wall. Images can also be of objects moving with a maximum speed of 36 km/sie almost 13,000 km/h.

In an interview with the Popular Science site, Fabio da Silva, the study’s lead author, recalls the obvious. He indicates that no one can see through walls, this is explained by the types of wavelengths to which the human eye is sensitive. These wavelengths simply do not penetrate walls. On the other hand, in the context of using longer wavelengths like microwaveslooking through walls becomes a possibility.

electromagnetic spectrum
Credits: ploufandsplash / Wikipedia

An early but promising technology

Traditionally, radar technologies emit radio waves in an area using a transmitter. Then these waves bounce off any object in it before being detected by a receiver. Thus, using the data related to these echoes, it becomes possible to determine the size, location and movement of objects. Of course, this technique requires the use of many transmitters and receivers. The new system of the American researchers works very differently. Indeed, if several transmitters transmit microwaves, one receiver is enough. However, the latter must be very sensitive and very powerful. This technique is based on the fact that the waves bounce off objects as they return to the receiver.

The technology described in the study is still in its infancy. However, researchers believe it has great potential. For example, producing accurate images of objects behind walls can: facilitate the work of rescuers; during a fire, after an earthquake or during dangerous meteorological phenomena such as severe storms. Finally, as mentioned above, the scientists claim that this technology can also detect and track objects moving at hypersonic speeds. However, the prospect of detecting certain aircraft, missiles, or even space debris may be obvious: interest the military.